Alyce from At Home With Books features one of her favorite reads each Thursday and this week my pick is…
The Shipping News by Annie Proulx.
From the back cover: At thirty-six, Quoyle, a third-rate newspaperman, is wrenched violently out of his workaday life when his two-timing wife meets her just desserts. He retreats with his two daughters to his ancestral home on the starkly beautiful Newfoundland coast, where a rich cast of local characters all play a part in Quoyle’s struggle to reclaim his life. As three generations of his family cobble up new lives, Quoyle confronts his private demons — and the unpredictable forces of nature and society — and begins to see the possibility of love without pain or misery.
My thoughts: I haven’t thought about this book in years but when I was flipping around the movie channels about a week or so ago, I came across the movie and remembered how much I loved this book.
Quoyle is such a sad character but you love him, mostly because you feel so bad for him at the beginning, but when he starts to realize that life has some good parts, you really love him. The family dynamics are fantastic and you can laugh, get annoyed, and cry at all their lives. I also adored the way Proulx adds cultural touches to the book that feel so right and not added on to fit with the setting. Everything and everyone belongs.
This book was published in 1993 but if you see a copy around, give it a try. You’ll be delighted and justly rewarded.